Another Wednesday slipped by and I did't get my in weekly post. Apologies; I took the day off and met my Old Man (father) in Salt Lake at good old Carl's Cafe for some breakfast and catch-up time. Despite my folks living only 20 minutes away at the mouth of Little Cottonwood Canyon, I haven't seen much of them lately. A two week storm cycle can do that.
Speaking of which, I ran the numbers for the cycle and from January 18 to 28 we picked up 79 inches in Jupiter and 60 at the Summit. Then a few days later we had a little "freshener-upener" storm that gave us 10 more inches. With the opening of Lower Pinecone last Friday and Gobbler's Knob on Monday, we are 100% open. Well okay, almost 100%; there are a couple gates that allow upper access to areas open below that are still closed, but these are obscure. I will stick with my "100% of our ridable terrain open" statement.
The backcountry situation is still a bit of a dangerous crap shoot. The Utah Avalanche Center has lowered it's advisory to a "scary moderate." Translation: while many of the large paths have released and other areas are settling out, the avalanche dragons are still lurking out there just waiting for the right trigger. Especially sketchy are upper and mid-elevation ENE-facing bowls and knobs. Last weekend folks got out as they often do and there were two avalanche fatalities. Now it's again Friday afternoon, it's looking to be a fairly nice weekend with some small storms, traveling conditions have greatly improved (no longer slogging through waist-deep snow) and again I say with grim confidence that there will more more accidents. I can also say however that I have been spending some time skiing low-angle north-facing trees and meadows and finding lovely conditions. If you are touring or riding your sleds, may be another good weekend to stick to such spots.
One final good-karma story for the week. Yesterday we had a call that a guest had dropped his watch in the closed area under the bottom of Silverlode. The liftie asked for permission to go in there and help him (right thing to do, thanks). Then a few moments later the guest himself called panicked that he had lost his very $$ watch. Jimmy went down with the metal detector to offer a hand. Mission was accomplished, guest was very pleased, Jimmy was rewarded with a generous gratuity. Happy to say we'll be closing-out our week at the Corner Store tonight spending said gratuity. Thank you sir and we were glad to help.